Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Call for Papers: "Reading the Middle Ages"

The Graduate Medievalists at Berkeley
invite submissions for the
UC Berkeley conference on the practice of reading in the Middle Ages
25-27 March 2011
UC Berkeley
Keynote Address by
Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn
Endowed Term Professor in the Humanities
at the University of Pennsylvania

Our knowledge of late antique and medieval culture derives primarily from the way in which we read today the manuscripts, images, and artifacts that were created and read in the past. The various intersecting and discrete social strata spanning the Middle Ages each practiced radically different methods of reading, in the broadest possible sense of the term. From the monasteries where the writings and stories of the classical period were transmitted and preserved, to the stained-glass windows greeting worshipers of even the lowest social classes, each reading practice provides us with invaluable information about what the people we study may have valued as well as how they lived and communicated with one another.

This conference will take up the variety of reading practices at play in the Middle Ages as the cornerstone to an exploration of medieval culture. However, proposals are encouraged to push our modern conceptions of reading into new territory, finding medieval reading practiced in ways we would not expect, challenging the way in which we read now, and asking questions of our relationship to medieval texts. Above all, we invite papers from a wide range of disciplines, especially ones that do not limit themselves to a treatment of literary or textual reading, but instead reach beyond the scope of the manuscript page to archeology and the reading of time through physical remains, art and the reading of images, et cetera.

We look forward to welcoming you to our beautiful campus for what promises to be an exciting and intellectually stimulating weekend.

Please send 300-word abstracts for twenty-minute papers to Graduate Medievalists at Berkeley ( by Friday, 12 November 2010

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